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Wealthy Means Having Enough, Not Having It All

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Remember the image of the carrot, the stick, the string and the horse? Maybe not. To get the horse to run faster, the guy in the saddle has a long stick with a string at the end tied to a carrot. He holds it in front of the horse. The horse runs trying to get the carrot but never can, because it’s always just out of reach. This can describe your client’s relationship with the concept of wealth.

Many people thing being wealthy means having it all. Clients need to realign their thinking. Being wealthy means “having enough.” Imagine reaching into your pocket to pay for something. If you can pull out money without feeling the bottom of your pocket, you are wealthy.

Many clients view it the other way. They spend everything they earn. Then they spend more running up credit card debt. They buy the symbols of wealth, yet are running in place trying to pay for them.

What does this have to do with insurance? Your client’s highest goal should be having a comfortable retirement. This can be explained as financial freedom. Once working becomes a choice, not a requirement, they are wealthy.

Lets look at some Do’s and Don’t’s for your client’s lifestyle:

Do

1. Have a plan.

If your client wants financial freedom, they need a roadmap to help get there. That’s a financial plan. If they don’t have one, help them get one.

2. Pay yourself first.

Unless you are fantastically wealthy, you need to save and invest to try and get to your goal. Your client needs to consider scheduled savings and investing their first bill to pay, not an afterthought.

3. Be happy with your car.

You loved it when you bought it. Model styles don’t change that much year to year. You’ve got a friend who drives a vintage Mercedes convertible. It never goes out of style. You can be happy with your current car for years.

4. Count all your wealth.

Vacations are expensive. We should take them. You’ve accumulated airline points, hotel points and credit card points. You earn points on everything! Use this currency to fund your vacations when possible. Use the dollars for retirement savings.

Don’t

1. Assume it’s not your job.

Social Security alone won’t deliver a comfortable retirement. Neither will your 401(k) if you just let the money sit in a low interest account. These are elements of your retirement assets and income, not the whole picture. You need to actively set money aside.

2. Assume someone will bail you out.

If you get over your head in debt keeping up with your friend’s spending, they won’t write checks when you get into trouble. They will say you were stupid because you couldn’t manage your spending.

3. Allow others to tell you how to spend your money.

Years ago, people bought groceries and cooked. Then restaurants invented prepared food in a deli like setting. Then the pandemic came. We paid restaurant sized prices for takeout food. Then we started buying meal kits to cook at home. As a result, the cost of eating skyrocketed. Our incomes didn’t. Why not go back to buying groceries in the supermarket? It’s the same as getting the meal kit delivered, only you make the trip to the store and choose the stuff.

4. Ignore what you pay in credit card interest.

It’s easy to pay with plastic. The average credit card interest rate is about 16%. (creditcards.com 6/9/21) Remember the rule of 72? The debit will double in about 4.5 years if you don’t do anything about it.

Try to get your client focused on retirement and financial independence, not trying to look wealthy in front of their friends.

(Image: Thinkstock)